Familiar Face Returning to Watertown to Lead Effort to Create Universal PreK Program

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Theresa McGuinness has been appointed as Principal of Watertown’s Early Steps School. (Contributed Photo)

The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Public Schools:

Watertown Public Schools is pleased to announce that Dr. Theresa McGuinness will become the principal of the Early Steps School, starting this summer. Dr. McGuinness returns to the district as the City of Watertown and Watertown Public Schools open a free Pre-K program for 4-year-olds in the fall of 2024.

Watertown will become one of the only municipalities in Massachusetts to offer no-cost Pre-K education when the program launches.

“I’m very excited at this opportunity to return to WPS as Principal of Early Steps and to work closely with the fine educators and support staff there – particularly given the plan to provide free universal PreKindergarten beginning in the fall of 2024,” said Dr. McGuinness. “While preschool and PreK share the goal of preparing 3-5 year olds for kindergarten, more importantly, the experience helps shape students’ view of themselves as successful learners and playful partners, and to realize their individual value within a school community. The opportunity to be a part of something this important is compelling to me.”

“Dr. McGuinness has a profound appreciation for the pivotal role our program plays as the initial gateway to the exceptional Watertown Public Schools,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Deanne Galdston. “With the implementation of Universal PreK, we have a remarkable opportunity to lay the groundwork for educational growth, achievement, and lifelong success for Watertown’s youngest learners. Dr. McGuinness’s dedication to and knowledge of the Watertown community is evident, and her readiness to lead the expansion of our early childhood program will ensure a seamless transition and continued progress.”

Dr. McGuinness previously worked for eight years as the school district’s Assistant Superintendent of Teaching, Learning, and Assessment. She currently serves as the Interim Superintendent in Marblehead.

During her eight years in Watertown, Dr. McGuinness demonstrated a relentless focus on the inclusiveness of instruction, valuing high expectations and equity for all students and staff members. She oversaw many initiatives, including the reorganization of curriculum coordination, the addition of grades K-8 literacy and math instructional coaches, the implementation of K-8 Responsive Classroom and Advisory, as well as the i-Ready universal assessment system.

She also provided excellent professional development opportunities including intensive Project Based Learning training at the secondary level, instituted standards-based reporting at the elementary level, and introduced Understanding By Design as the framework for curriculum development. Along the way, Dr. McGuinness secured countless grants that benefitted both students and staff.

Dr. McGuinness will begin her role on July 1, 2024.

One thought on “Familiar Face Returning to Watertown to Lead Effort to Create Universal PreK Program

  1. I believe that teachers’ unions and educators want parents to turn over their children to public schools at a very early age. As young as 2 or even at birth.


    So that the educational establishment can socialize tthe children to be politcally “progressive,” Woke, and pro-LGBTQ from as early an age as possible.

    I believe in parents’ values not teachers’ values.

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